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In this thesis we examine the genealogy of the concept of user and its contemporary dramaturgy in industrial research. For forty years, the literature in sciences and technology studies, in design and in strategy have been revealing the importance of users in the innovation process. This thesis is the result of a doctoral research that aims at exploring further this issue by studying the institutional, economical and socio-technical reasons that settle the user as an artefact in the research laboratory of Bell Labs. Our theorical frameword combine both semiotic (Charles S. Peirce) and symbolic (Lucien Sfez) aproaches, and the theory of actor-network (Bruno Latour). We focus on the terms of the representational system of the user and its symbolic implications in Bell Laboratories : the diffusion of the concept in the scientific journal of Bell Labs through a statistical analysis, the different types of user-model in Bell Labs history through a speech analysis, and the process of user integration through the socio-technical analysis of an innovation project. For this research, we developed a methodology designed at tracking and analyzing the birth and propagation of concepts in innovation. Finally we defend that Bell Labs, through its user-models, have established an equivalence between human and machine that make the user a symbolic picture half human, half-machine.